Employers ask weird questions during interviews. You may have done it too, as an entrepreneur. Do you just like listening to the same responses over and over? Haha. Interviews are a flawed way to recruit employees by the way. At least in 2018 and beyond. But let’s go about that on another day.
Today, why don’t you put yourself on the spotlight. What if you, an entrepreneur, had to answer a question in an interview? No, not what is your greatest weakness. We know its perfection (ugh).
Answer, what are your strengths?
We cannot stress enough that entrepreneurs cannot really be specialists. You have to (have to!) know how one action affects other aspects of your business. You have to take responsibility for the performance of everyone. You can’t just pack your bags at 5pm (or 9pm, entrepreneurs are wild) and go home. Only employees get that privilege.
Even so, nobody knows everything. You have areas that fit you better. After all, the whole point of employing people is so they can complement your shortcomings. Bossing over them is a minor add-on.
Drawing from the broad 6 factors of running a successful business, we figure there are also 6 areas of strengths entrepreneurs have. You may be good in more than one area. Knowing what your strengths are can aid you in becoming more productive and burdening others with your weaknesses.
You will also understand how to avoid the failings in being too good at something. We’ve touched on this. Check out the list:
Playing long con
In a good way. This is actually the stereotype of an entrepreneur. This strength is for creating luck; being in the right place at the right time – every time.
What are your strengths? Coming up with strategies and planning for the long term.
If you’re good at defining goals and unravelling flow charts to get us there, this is you. You know the mechanics of how things work but people think you rely on leaps of faith. It’s just that you don’t connect dots for them. They can’t see what you see. You keep that top-down approach all to yourself. You align goals, handle long term finances and reduce risk.
Watch out for: Blind spots and getting caged by your plan. I know you took time to think it through and drawing up another is just…and please get a sidekick to keep you grounded.
Playing short con
Again, in a good way. This fits the entrepreneur stereotype of flexibility.
What are your strengths? You are good at day-to-day operations. You should probably organize perfect weddings because the groom and bride always complain (jeez).
You do the thankless work of ensuring everything runs smoothly. You’re adaptable. Nobody will ever notice. Never, until the day you have the flu and everything falls apart. Yes, yes if you want things well done you have to do it yourself. You came up with this. You are great at record keeping and making the work day predictable.
Watch out for: Stagnating and being a micromanager. Don’t get caught up in your routine, there are bigger things for you out here. And we are not “lazy,” you’re just so over us in work ethic. Have you considered moving to Germany or Korea?
Actually putting customers first
This fits the entrepreneur stereotype of being innovative. Hey, innovation can both be revolutionary and incremental. Don’t listen to the techies.
What are your strengths? You are a product developer. You know what to adjust and what to launch. You know what to drop. You are like a customer who became an entrepreneur.
You prefer the down and dirty, except handling business records and reading rejection emails. Nobody likes that. You like making the actual product or service. You focus on the utility aspect of what you’re selling, not the noise around it. This is because in your heart your thing is the technique, like tech entrepreneurs before they receive venture capital funding and sell out. You want to attain superior quality and may teach your employees the ropes. Continue with that.
Watch out for: Don’t forget it’s a business you’re running. People don’t actually care that much about quality. They only think of it in relative terms. So, compromise and relax. Matching or beating your competition, marginally, is all that matters. Don’t pack stuff for free if other supermarket aren’t doing it.
Being the woman in charge
This speaks to the entrepreneur stereotype of being a leader. You can’t escape this role.
What are your strengths? Your expertise is in developing your staff. I think you have a chance to avoid employee theft if you do it well. A chance.
I’ll bite. Small business owners can be villains at times. They complain they can’t afford skilled employees but never take time to work on what they have. But you, you know your way around proper recruitment and retention of employees. You can even make Millennials work hard. Wow. What you achieve with your employees depends on your management style. One-size-fits all is for those old heads missing the “Moi Days.” Pathetic.
Watch out for: Are you even a role model? Your employees quickly learn where the line is drawn with you. It’s up to you to set the standards, like queens on Instagram. What? I don’t care.
Putting yourself out there
This is about the entrepreneur stereotype of selling yourself and your product or service.
What are your strengths? Your thing is marketing, which includes acts of completing the sale. Though not always.
Marketing is like dating. You have to put yourself out there without shame. Be vulnerable. That’s a marketing tip, not a dating one but I guess don’t bring your friends along because “Nairobi is unsafe.” You understand that this is the step where the business actually happens. You know how to present yourself, who you should be talking to and the channels to reach that audience. I think we’ll be talking a lot about marketing in the coming days.
Watch out for: Buying into ambiguity. We touched on this. Marketing is expensive and much of it is lost in translation or something. Why are companies still putting up posters instead of native advertising? Email us.
Being a shameless social climber
We mean this in a good way, c’mon. It’s just about building networks as a business person.
What are your strengths? You are good at developing networks that get you ahead in business.
You know more than most that networking is crucial for getting advice, finding information and other forms of support. You don’t care about touchy-feely people crying that you only text them when you need something. Seriously? Friends are playground stuff. Adults have spouses. Adulting is about working. Adult entrepreneurs work 7 days a week. You have the communication skills to placate, anyway, and get ahead. Having entrepreneurial background around you is a proven advantage in business.
Watch out for: Don’t overstate its importance. Unless you’re a model, you don’t need that obvious fake smile at the end of the forum and going around interrupting conversations. Go home. If you’re good we’ll notice you. Power trumps influence.
Which of the 6 are you really good at? How does it help in your work? Let’s us know in the comments below1